10 Biggest Tech Headlines in 2012

Apple Launches the iPad Mini
The iPad Mini launched in late 2012 after nearly a year's worth of speculation about whether or not Apple would market a smaller tablet. Courtesy Apple Inc.

In the age of the Internet, it's hard to keep products a secret. This is particularly true for Apple, a company that receives a healthy dose of scrutiny from tech journalists and consumers on a daily basis. And with supply chains stretching to countries overseas, there are many places where a person might let a bit of information leak about upcoming products. Such was the case with the iPad Mini.

By the time Apple officially announced the iPad Mini on October 22, 2012, multiple tech blogs and news sites had published rumored specs and designs based on leaked information. Many of those rumors turned out to be true. Like the full-sized iPad, the Mini has several models. Storage ranges from 16 to 64 gigabytes, depending upon the model. You can order one with WiFi and cellular service or just WiFi.

Unlike the latest iPad models, the Mini doesn't have a retina display. It also has a less powerful processor than the current generation of iPads. It's larger than an iPod Touch and smaller than a full-sized iPad with a 7.9-inch (20.1-centimeter) screen.

The iPad Mini is Apple's response to the 7-inch (17.8-centimeter) tablet market, which includes devices like Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet and Google's Nexus 7 tablet. With the iPad Mini an official product, new questions arise. Will Apple dominate in the smaller tablet space the way it has with full-sized tablets? And how will the iPad Mini affect iPad and iPod Touch sales figures?

Honorable Mention: Apple launched several products in 2012. In March, Apple unveiled the third-generation iPad. During the October 22 iPad Mini launch event, Apple updated the iPad again with a fourth-generation model, upsetting some Apple customers who were upset that the previous version of the device had only been on the market for a few months before the company rendered it obsolete. Other products launched in 2012 include the iPhone 5 and updates to the Macbook Pro and Mac Mini computers.

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